NOVA Chemicals Corporation
IndustryPetrochemical industry
HeadquartersCalgary, Alberta, Canada
Moon Township, Pennsylvania, United States
Key people
Luis Sierra CEO (August 2020)
ProductsEthylene, Polyethylene, Chemical and Energy Co-Products, Expandable Polystyrene and Styrenic Performance Products
RevenueIncreaseUS$3.512 billion (2016)[1]
Number of employees
2,800 (2016)[2]

NOVA Chemicals Corporation is a plastics and chemical company headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, with executive offices in the Pittsburgh suburb of Moon Township, Pennsylvania and Lambton County, Ontario.

NOVA Chemicals' products are used in a wide variety of applications, including food and electronics packaging, industrial materials, appliances and a variety of consumer goods. The company operates two business units and holds a 50% interest in a major joint venture with INEOS, called INEOS NOVA.

Company history

In 1954, the Alberta legislature under Ernest Manning passed the Alberta Gas Trunk Line Company Act, creating the Alberta Gas Trunk Line Company (AGTL) Crown Corporation, with a monopoly on natural gas transportation (pipelines) within the province.[3] Construction began in 1956 and gas began flowing in 1957.[3] In the 1970s, AGTL expanded into the chemicals industry.[4] The company was privatized in 1961 and was renamed NOVA Corporation in 1980,[5][6][7] and by 1989 was considered a "petrochemical and pipeline giant."[8]

In the 1980s, NOVA had controlling ownership of Calgary-based Husky Oil.[9]: 198  NOVA sold the last of its stake in Husky in 1991.[10]

In 1998, NOVA Corporation split in two, with its pipeline business (with $11 billion in annual sales)[11] merging with TransCanada Pipelines and its chemicals business ($2.4 billion sales)[11] becoming a publicly traded company, NOVA Chemicals.[12][13][6] Shortly after the split, then-CEO Jeffrey Lipton moved NOVA Chemicals' head office from Calgary to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.[6] While this move was made in order to be closer to US customers, the benefits of the move never materialized. It was also seen as a snub to the province of Alberta, as Premier Ed Stelmach refused to grant NOVA Chemicals a bailout in 2009 due to the financial meltdown and recession, as well as the company's heavy debt load.[6]

On July 6, 2009, the International Petroleum Investment Company (since 2016 IPIC merged with Mubadala), which is wholly owned by the government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, completed the 100% purchase of NOVA Chemicals, and transferred its place of incorporation to the Province of New Brunswick.[14][15]

In the United States, NOVA Chemicals has focused recent expansion in the Gulf Coast area. This includes acquiring an olefins plant that produces roughly 1.95 billion pounds of ethylene annually in Geismar, Louisiana, which was purchased from Williams Partners.[16] The company is also considering the building of a new polyethylene plant in St. Clair Township.[17]


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The Olefins/Polyolefins

The Olefins/Polyolefins business unit produces and sells ethylene, PE resins and co-products from its two manufacturing centers located in Alberta and Ontario, Canada. The business is built on its feedstock cost advantage in Alberta, world-scale and energy-efficient manufacturing facilities and proprietary Advanced SCLAIRTECH and gas-phase polyethylene technology.

The Olefins/Polyolefins business unit contains three reporting segments:

Performance Styrenics

Performance Styrenics manufactures and sells expandable polystyrene (EPS) in North America and specialty Polymers. This business unit also has interests in EPS-based downstream ventures and businesses for end-use consumer and industrial applications.


INEOS NOVA is a 50:50 joint venture between NOVA Chemicals and INEOS that manufactures and sells styrene, solid polystyrene (SPS) and EPS.

Until September 30, 2007, NOVA Chemicals operated a commodity styrenics business unit known as STYRENIX, which manufactured and sold styrene and SPS in North America. It also manufactured and sold SPS and EPS in Europe through NOVA Innovene, its 50:50 joint venture with INEOS.

On October 1, 2007, NOVA Chemicals and INEOS expanded their European joint venture to include the North American styrene and SPS businesses of both companies. NOVA Chemicals no longer reports the results of its STYRENIX business unit but rather its interest in INEOS NOVA.


  1. ^ "Selected Financial Information". Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  2. ^ "Corporate Fact Sheet" (PDF). Retrieved January 20, 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Alberta Gas Trunk Line". Government of Alberta - Culture and Tourism. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  4. ^ "Company with three Sarnia-Lambton plants privately held". The Observer. March 20, 2015. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  5. ^ Jang, Brent (January 30, 2001). "Nova pays through the nose for Alberta natural gas". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d "Once-mighty Nova Chemicals needs rescuer". National Post. February 9, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  7. ^ "Nova Corp". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved September 28, 2011.
  8. ^ Demont, John (July 10, 1989). "Nova's sell-off". Maclean's. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  9. ^ Doem, G. Bruce; Toner, Glen (1985). The Politics of Energy: The Development and Implementation of the NEP. Routledge. ISBN 9780429560583. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  10. ^ Zuckerman, Lawrence (October 24, 1991). "Li to Lift Stake in Husky Oil to 95%". International Herald Tribune. New York Times. Retrieved March 1, 2020.
  11. ^ a b "Nova Chemicals to separate from parent". Chem. Eng. News. American Chemical Society. February 2, 1998. doi:10.1021/cen-v076n005.p009.
  12. ^ "NOVA, TransCanada form $16 billion company". Pittsburgh Business Times. January 26, 1998. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  13. ^ NOVA Chemicals history. Retrieved online 2011-09-28 Archived April 15, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Nova Chemicals: "Company History and Development"". Archived from the original on April 24, 2013. Retrieved September 27, 2013.
  15. ^ "IPIC to buy Nova Chemicals". Toronto Star. February 23, 2009. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  16. ^ "Nova Chemicals expanding again on the Gulf Coast". The Observer. April 18, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  17. ^ "Decision on new plant expected this year". The Observer. August 9, 2017. Retrieved September 15, 2017.